SEDBUK 2009 ratings are criticised as being confusing

7th Feb 2011

From 26 September 2015 the way boilers are rated for energy efficiency will change. SEDBUK will be replaced by the Energy related Products (ErP) directive and a new rating system will come into effect. You can read more about this new system in our guide to ErP.

A leading boiler manufacturer in the UK has spoken out against the new SEDBUK 2009 ratings which they claim are causing unnecessary confusion in the domestic heating market.

Worcester Bosch, who brings the warning, has stated that the rating is putting the heating industry at risk of alienating consumers.

The opinion comes in conjunction to the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) clampdown on what it believes to be misleading boiler manufacturer efficiency claims.

The new 2009 ratings, launched on October 1, 2010, have capped the efficiency figure a manufacturer can use to promote its product, in effect reducing the figure by approximately two per cent.

According to Worcester, a boiler that has received 90.5 per cent, Band A figure under SEDBUK 2005, is now reduced to circa 88.5-88.8 per cent efficient product under SEDBUK 2009.

Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, believes the BRE is confusing the marketplace.

He said: “The BRE has ignored the fact that it isn’t the boiler manufacturer which calculates the percentage efficiencies, it is the Test House or notified body used.

“To introduce very significant changes to the ratings is creating considerable confusion amongst both installers and consumers.”

He continued:“We believe it is unnecessary as all the facts and the uncertainty of measurement were pointed out to the BRE some 10 or 11-years-ago when SEDBUK was introduced.

“We have managed with this scheme, with its faults, since 1999 and consumers now have a knowledge about this particularly as it is similar to the labelling seen of fridges and freezers for example.”

In addition to changes to the efficiency ratings the SEDBUK bandings have also been changed.

The bands, currently A, B, C, D and E, have become the standard benchmarks recognised by the industry and consumers, but these have also been dropped in favour of quoting the new SEDBUK 2009 percentage figure instead.

Mr Bridges added: “The BRE has discarded more than 10 years of consumer education, causing unnecessary confusion in the marketplace, particularly in light of the fact that boiler ratings will have to change anyway when the EuP Directive comes into force in two years’ time.”